Sure, Creighton’s first preseason volleyball ranking — at No. 25 — is a big deal.
But coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth is much more concerned about where the Bluejays finish.
“We want to be there and hopefully higher at the end of the year,’’ Booth said.
Defending champion Texas heads the AVCA coaches poll, followed by Penn State, Stanford, USC and Washington. Nebraska is No. 10 and Iowa State No. 15.
Creighton is the only Big East team in the rankings, and Booth said it’s nice to be part of the national discussion.
“It’s more of a testament to the growth of the program and last year’s squad,’’ she said.
Creighton moved into the national rankings for the first time in program history last November at No. 25 and finished 24th. The Bluejays advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament after sweeping Missouri Valley regular-season and tournament titles.
Nine letterwinners and four starters are back from last year’s 29-4 team, including all-conference selections Melanie Jereb, Leah McNary and Kelli Browning.
Creighton’s nonconference schedule features five teams that are ranked in the preseason — No. 11 Hawaii, No. 12 UCLA, No. 13 BYU, No. 20 Kansas and No. 24 Wichita State.
The Bluejays reported to campus on Aug. 8, host the annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Aug. 23 and open the regular season on Aug. 30 with a match against BYU at the Hampton Inn Invitational in Bowling Green, Ohio.
It will mark the third time Creighton has begun the year against a top 25 foe.
1, Texas. 2, Penn State. 3, Stanford. 4, Southern California. 5, Washington. 6, Minnesota. 7, Michigan. 8, Oregon. 9, Florida. 10, Nebraska. 11, Hawaii. 12, UCLA. 13, BYU. 14, Michigan State. 15, Iowa State. 16, Purdue. 17, Kentucky. 18, Florida State. 19, Louisville. 20, Kansas. 21, Western Kentucky. 22, Dayton. 23, Ohio State. 24, Wichita State. 25, Creighton.